Mogadishu (;Somali: Muqdisho; Arabic: مقديشو Maqadīshū), known locally as Xamar (English: Hamar), is the largest and capital city of Somalia. Located in the coastal Banaadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries. As of 2015, it has a population of 2,120,000 residents.
Tradition and old records assert that southern Somalia, including the Mogadishu area, was historically inhabited by hunter-gatherers. These were later joined by Cushitic agro-pastoralists, who would go on to establish local aristocracies. During its medieval Golden Age, Mogadishu was ruled by the Muzaffar dynasty, a vassal of the Ajuran Sultanate. It subsequently fell under the control of an assortment of local Sultanates and polities, most notably the Geledi Sultanate. The city later became the capital of Italian Somaliland (1889-1936) in the colonial period. After the Somali Republic became independent in 1960, Mogadishu became known and promoted as the White Pearl of the Indian Ocean. After the ousting of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 and the ensuing civil war, various militias fought for control of the city, later to be replaced by the Islamic Courts Union in the mid-2000s. The ICU thereafter splintered into more radical groups, notably Al-Shabaab, which fought the Transitional Federal Government (2004-2012) and its AMISOM allies. With a change in administration in late 2010, government troops and their military partners had succeeded in forcing out Al-Shabaab by August 2011. Mogadishu has subsequently experienced a period of intense reconstruction.